JOHN SWEET

effigy 2

but you cannot be
beautiful
in the room of mirrors

you cannot discuss
belief
on a dead-end street

look

the face of god is everywhere

the pain of christ is
everyone's

and i think the
burning girl knew this
if only for the last few terrified
seconds of her life and i
think that her death
was probably meaningless

and i think that
yours will be too
and mine when it comes
and i have all of history to
back me up on this

i have the names of
every vanished child

of the fathers
who murdered them and
the mothers who held their hands
to lit burners and i would
make these fuckers suffer if
i could

i would let the dogs lick
the blood from their corpses

would piss on their graves

and i'll agree with you when
you tell me that violence
is not the solution to violence
and then i'll tell you about
the couple who
filmed themselves raping a
four year-old paraplegic girl

i'll tell you again if you
want me to
and even if you don't

it's not a
thing that should ever
be forgotten


notes on freedom

he says there has to be
something more
than anger and despair

says a poem should be a mirror
not a jagged shard of glass

not a broken window in
a burning house but
letís face it

neither of us has ever had to
jump from the 98th floor

we never knew black kettle

never found the corpse of
the woman we love dumped like
so much trash on the
outskirts of juarez

and itís not america i hate but
the fuckers making their fortunes
off the butchered bodies of
soldiers and children and i refuse to
call it democracy if every
politician is for sale

look at these men who would
rape your daughters

look at their wives smiling
naked and wet
up into the light of god

consider how much shit youíve
ever had to eat
for the good of the many


poem to hide from my children

or something as simple as
young girls left to die in
windowless rooms

something as american as
wealth for the chosen few

the indians
kicked out of their trailers
and the mothers arrested in
front of their children

nothing as obvious as a massacre

no wasted motion in the
back of the hand across the face
and what iíve said from the beginning
is that equality is a lie

what i refuse to do is
lick the ass of any self-proclaimed king

and i donít believe in violence but
i understand the attraction

picture your teenage daughter on
her hands and knees
being fucked by a politician

your eight year-old son
raped by a priest

or what about the men who would
protect the predators?

can you picture their throats
slashed wide open or
their houses in flames?

there are so many deaths i will
never weep for


john sweet, 35 and counting, angry, bitter, etc etc,
hiding in a pissant town in upstate new york, a believer
in very little. a follower of the writings of j. pollock
and of the words of h. frayne. too much education, and
still a shit job.

recent publications include the chapbook Enemy
(www.pinkanarchkittypress.com),
the full length collection Human Cathedrals
(www.ravennapress.com)
and the electronic chapbook Silence in the House of Truths
(www.tmpoetry.com).






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